Product / ServiceRED BULL
CategoryG05. Cultural Insight
Idea Creation MAGIC MANGO Nawala, SRI LANKA


Name Company Position
Nalin Yapa Magic Mango Idea Generator
Rinesh Jayaratne Magic Mango Account Management
Nilantha Wijayakumar Magic Mango Idea support and art
Andrew Ebell Magic Mango Creative execution
Thilum Wanniarachchi Magic Mango Production
Dinesh Maheswaran Magic Mango Production

Why is this work relevant for PR?

While this work was essentially a digital film, supported by a digital forum, this work is relevant for PR due to the use of an insight, and star, to take on a previously untouched issue in the country. The work was able to break this taboo and bring the issue to the heart of conversations around the country, most importantly capturing the attention and indeed, forcing the hand of the Minister of Sport, to put in place a plan to combat the issue in the future.


Red Bull, known worldwide for (extreme) sports and energy, wanted to make itself more relevant to Sri Lanka. To do this, the brand would seek to break a taboo. By starting a conversation around the societal barriers enforced on young girls once they hit puberty, or became ‘big girls’ in colloquial speech. A taboo subject that everyone knows about, but no one dares challenge. A subject never before been broached by any brand in Sri Lanka. And a subject that led to a lack of girls continuing to play sport once they reach puberty.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

To begin this conversation, we teamed up with the biggest girl in Sri Lankan sport today - Chamari Athapaththu. The only female Red Bull athlete in Sri Lanka, and one who embodied the breaking of this taboo to become a big name in sports. The main target audience was young girls and their mothers, the first to enforce these barriers on young girls in the country. Chamari would challenge these barriers - which in itself went a long way in earning attention due to the previously taboo nature of the topic. The most important component of the creative idea was bringing to life how Chamari's parents never enforced these same barriers on her, paving the way for her to become the star she is today.

Describe the PR strategy (30% of vote)

The Insight - When young girls in Sri Lanka hit puberty, or become 'big girls' as they are known locally, the way they are treated by family and society, changes . Gone is the carefree child, replaced by one governed by new 'rules' that don't allow her to play in the sun or associate with boys. All because she's a 'big girl' now. The key message - To show through the world of someone who has not been held back by these same barriers, how far these girls can go if only given the chance. The Target Audience - Young girls and their mothers across Sri Lanka. Young girls because we wanted to inspire them to achieve great things, while their mothers as they are the first enforcers of these barriers. With Chamari arguably a bigger brand in Sri Lanka, the conversation would begin through her own social media.

Describe the PR execution (20% of vote)

Beginning with a simple, powerful video on Chamari's own social media, we allowed the virality of the video to take centre stage for the first two weeks. This was then followed by a partnership with Sri Lanka's leading digital content creator, Roar, known for its own willingness to report on subjects that mainstream news wouldn't touch. Together, with Chamari and Roar, we would bring together big girls in the world of sports, entertainment and business to talk about their own pasts and implore parents to allow their 'big girls' to follow their dreams.

List the results (30% of vote)

With the biggest objective being the need to start this conversation on this taboo, the results were as followed. • Earned Media worth over USD 120,000 was garnered from local and regional media • The main campaign video garnered over 6 million impressions, not bad for a 'taboo' topic. • Most importantly, the campaign pushed the hand of Minister of Sport Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, to put in place a plan towards ensuring young girls do not give up their sporting dreams in the future.

Please tell us about the cultural insight that inspired the work

Puberty is a confusing time for young Sri Lankan girls. Once they start their first period, the girls forced into a series of rituals, from 7 days of seclusion with no male interaction, to a grand party in their honour. It is, however, once the celebrations are over that it gets really confusing. You see, in Sri Lanka, once a girl reaches puberty, she is known as a ‘big girl’. But the irony is, ‘big girls’ are not treated like big girls at all. Once carefree girls now found themselves bound by many barriers enforced by their families and society as a whole… “Now that you’re a big girl, you can’t stay out late” “Big girls like you must not hang out with boys” “You’re a big girl now, stop playing boy’s games.” It’s no wonder that ‘big girls’ simply gave up on sport.


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